The most intense fun a group of people can have with their clothes on.
We couldn’t have asked for a better Sabbat. A New Moon, on May Eve, out of town and out in Nature, with a dedicated and motivated Coven of Witches - priceless.
This was our Homecoming. As we are firm believers in Science, we took the pandemic very seriously, and moved ALL of our functions online until the CDC guidelines were such that our members were not at risk. We missed no classes, practices, Sabbats or public events because of Covid. Because our online events were so good, we are keeping them ongoing as yet another service our Coven offers.
But we all feel the call to be under the stars, surrounded by the Elements, with our Witches garbed in their Sabbat attire and bringing the Magick. And oh, did they ever! Inner Circle Sanctuary operates 7 days a week, and it is Sabbats like this that make it all worthwhile. As Lady Morgana and Lord Mordred used to say, “It recharges our batteries.”
So much preparation went into this Sabbat. Our Witchlings heeded the Elders well for the area was set up beautifully, our huge Ring was set up perfectly (no small feat!), and there was plenty of good food, drink, and fellowship for all.
As the light of the day faded, the temperature plummeted, and the wind rose. This is when our members are very thankful we are a robed Coven! Add the effect of your Witch siblings in their robes, chaplets, bells and crowns, and the atmosphere sings with Magick.
Then the Rite began.
Our signature Egyptian Pentagram Ritual was performed by an Elder with such precision and Heka the atmosphere crackled with energy. The Ring was swept by a First Degree Witch with a chant written by our Lady Morgana’s Lady. A Circle of Stones was laid down following the booming command of the Summoner.
And then the High Priestess of the Ring set the stage for what was to come with a beautiful meditation on Bealtaine itself. One might say this is the calm before the storm, a chance to prepare oneself inside and out, for the Magick ahead.
Our four quarter callers spoke to the Elements dynamically and endearingly. We do this before the Ring is cast, so the Ring is not broken, and so the Elements provide their energy to the Ring from beyond. Their voices rang and echoed through the place. That sense of Nature participating in what we were doing was palpable.
After the Goddess was invoked into the body of the High Priestess, she reciprocates with an Invoking Pentagram of Earth, and a declamation that begins with “Of the Mother, darksome and Divine…” When I saw, heard and FELT our High Priestess do this, all I could think was “Oh it is ON!”
Her Charge of the Goddess was intense, and perfect. Her voice and presence was more than hers alone. It affected us all.
The High Priest exercised an Elder Option, this being a Horned God invocation that is a bit longer than the Great Cernunnos Invocation we normally do for Cross Quarter Sabbats. Both are intense and meant to arouse, shall we say, everyone within hearing.
For two years our members have freestyle danced the Witches’ Rune for our Online Sabbats. It was clearly good practice because our Rune this time, all together, raised such a Cone Of Power, with everyone in time and in tune, we could feel the energy grow exponentially.
We have done this Sabbat Ritual for well over twenty-five years now. Seeing faces and hearing voices of longtime members and newer ones participate in this link in the chain that connects us to our past and future is so overwhelming it can bring tears to your eyes. Everyone did so well.
The Great Rite, as Lord Mordred used to say, is the most Magical part of the Ring. It is the marriage of Heavens and Earth, the Sacred Mystery of love for the Goddess who created all, and gives all. The High Priestess embodied this in stellar fashion, complemented by her High Priest, and served with military drill team precision by the Summoner and Maiden. It was such a joy to see!
The Closing Ritual affects us in interesting ways. It can be quite bittersweet, as being in Circle can be so seductive you never want to leave. Communing so closely with the Gods, and the shared experience among all present is not something easily ended.
So, we don’t end it just yet. We chanted and jumped the Belfire: singly and paired, with joy and laughter we danced. We drank consecrated drink, and ate consecrated bread (homemade, delicious and magical!). We toasted life, love, and each other.
As if that wasn’t awesome enough, we saluted the three Spring Queens who had been chosen for that honor while we were performing our Sabbats online. Three bouquets presented; three tiaras crowned; Five Fold Kisses for all three of them! The Spring Queens worked hard to be chosen, and it was a joy for all involved to show them their due reverence.
Later, as we ate and laughed, sang and joked, and it sunk in that this momentous night was almost over, I couldn’t help but feel again that same pride in this Coven that Lord Mordred must have felt for his Temple. I am always thankful that the members of ICS make us proud so often.
We have been through a lot since 2014, when Temple of the Inner Circle became Inner Circle Sanctuary. Moving and performing our Coven functions online was a radical change, but through it all our members made it look easy. Our Witches, who made this Sabbat so incredibly moving, as they have done for two years online, Brought The Magick!
What more could I ask for?
I know! Our online Sabbat the next day!
I loved it as well. I am still humming with energy from Bealtaine.
Thankfully the Wheel of the Years keeps rolling ever onward, and Litha is right around the corner. I cannot wait to celebrate it with this incredible group of magical people.
This is an excerpt from Lord Tanys’ journal. It is but a glimpse of how intense and moving Inner Circle Sanctuary Sabbats are, and how beautiful, magical, and transformative Wicca is.
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Inner Circle Sanctuary
Inner Circle Sanctuary is a school for traditional style Wicca and holds eight sabbat festivals every year.